I will lend to you for awhile
a puppy, God said,
For you to love him while he lives
and to mourn for him when he is gone.
Maybe for twelve or fourteen years,
or maybe for two or three
But will you, till I call him back
take care of him for me?
He’ll bring his charms to gladden you
and (should his stay be brief)
you’ll always have his memories
as solace for your grief.
I cannot promise that he will stay,
since all from earth return,
But there are lessons taught below
I want this pup to learn.
I’ve looked the whole world over
in search of teachers true
And from the folk that crowd life’s land
I have chosen you.
Now will you give him all your love
Nor think the labour vain
Nor hate me when I come to take my pup back again.
I fancied that I heard them say
“Dear Lord Thy Will Be Done,”
For all the joys this pup will bring,
the risk of grief you’ll run.
Will you shelter him with tenderness
Will you love him while you may
And for the happiness you’ll know forever grateful stay.
But should I call him back
much sooner than you’ve planned
Please brave the bitter grief that comes
and try to understand.
If, by your love, you’ve managed
my wishes to achieve,
In memory of him that you’ve loved,
cherish every moment with your faithful bundle,
and know he loved you too.